Fisher Cats fan favorite Ollie the Bat Dog passed away peacefully in New Hampshire last week.
Ollie, the son of former Trenton Thunder Bat Dog Chase and brother of former Thunder Bat Dog Derby, joined the front office of the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Toronto Blue Jays Double-A affiliate) in 2008, and worked as the team’s bat dog through the end of the 2016 season.
Following his retirement at 56 years of dog age, the golden retriever made a handful of guest appearances at Delta Dental Stadium in Manchester, including a brief stint during the 2018 championship season to trot out to home plate to retrieve another bat.
“No matter how old you were, or how many times you’d seen him do it, you couldn’t help but smile and cheer when Ollie took the field,” Fisher Cats President Mike Ramshaw said in a news release on Monday. “He’ll always be an important part of the Fisher Cats family, and we’re proud to honor his memory this coming season.”
As part of the 2021 schedule, which has yet to be determined, the Fisher Cats will host a “Celebration of Ollie the Bat Dog” game.
The Fisher Cats are welcoming donations in Ollie’s memory to K9 With A Mission, a program designed to fund support, service, and companion dogs for veterans. This program operates under the umbrella of Swim With A Mission, a not-for-profit organization which has donated over $6 million to support veterans since its formation in 2017.
Fisher Cats community partner Tito’s Handmade Vodka has pledged to match the donation total up to $2,000. The Tito’s Vodka for Dog People initiative is dedicated to improving the lives of pets and their families far and wide.
Ollie is survived by his nephew Rookie, who has served as the bat dog of the Trenton Thunder since 2013.